How technophobe wealth managers risk being left behind by rivals

 
William Turvill
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IFA 2012 Consumer Electronics Trade Fair
Firms could lose assets and customers by not chasing digital development, the report warns (Source: Getty)

Technophobe wealth managers have been told to get with the times or face being left behind by rivals, a new report out today warns.

Groups including Brewin Dolphin, Munnypot, Nucleus, SEI and Sesame Bankhall Group contributed to the MRM report, which warns that firms could lose assets and customers by not investing in digital.

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Sesame Bankhall’s managing director Stephen Gazard said there are firms which are “still largely paper-based with no web or social media presence and no real understanding of the changing environment” and warned that advisers “who don’t adapt could get left behind”.

But the experts spoken to also warned that firms should not consider implementing technology advancements on their own.

“Digitalising a firm will amplify any imperfections already present in the business, so it cannot be looked at in isolation,” said Kevin Russell, proposition director at SEI.

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The report also sought to challenge the view that digitisation only benefits younger and lower-value clients.

“There seems to be an assumption at times that technology and the appropriateness to customers is a simple demographics play, with technology being regarded as crucial for younger clients but not for older age segments,” said Gareth Johnson, head of managed investment services at Brewin Dolphin.

“Segmentation in this way is misguided. Instead, we need to look at what it is the customer is trying to do. How do we use technology to make this easier and faster and more relevant to those individuals?”

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